I know I’m not the first person to write about this and I know I won’t be the last. Adulting is hard, being a working mom with a baby who isn’t sleeping is even harder.
A few weeks back, I hit the wall. It was the moment that the sleep deprivation took over. After 9 days (I was counting) of my baby not sleeping for more than 2 hours at a time, I hit my breaking point. I remember thinking “I’ve already gotten this far through the day, what’s another 4 hours?” I pushed through before, I could push through again. But I found myself struggling – really struggling. I could hardly function. So I left work early, took a bath and then a nap.
I am continually trying to put work-life balance into practice. Just like a yoga practice is a continual practice, so is finding balance between work and life. An important piece of finding that balance is self-care. Another piece is giving and asking for support.
Before I decided to go home early that day, I was struggling (did I mention that?) and a co-worker came into my office. She asked if I had a few minutes. When she came into my office, I was ready to cry. I took a deep breath. I knew how much she needed the support. I knew the challenges she had been facing and I wanted to be there for her.
When someone needs your support in those tough moments – that is when it matters. It’s how you show up for others when you just want to close your door and cry (which I did a few minutes later, while I was pumping of course). It mattered to me because I would not have been able to go home that day with a clear conscience if I hadn’t listened in a time of need. Just like all of us, I have had my fair share of moments where I didn’t respond to a situation in a way that made me proud. I don’t like that feeling because I know better.
The balance of giving and asking for support…
After my self-pitying cry of exhaustion, I sent an email to my team telling them what had been going on with the baby and that I needed to go home and sleep. And they supported me. And it mattered.